Italian Journey

In May and June 2011 I had the privilege of travelling in Italy as part of my sabbatical study leave. I visited ancient church buildings, looking at great works of art, soaking in the atmosphere, reading and thinking about art and spirituality and trying to improve my painting skills as I ‘look by painting’.

Just as friends followed by journey in real time in 2011, so you can still visit the special places I visited then, reading my reflections and viewing my photos and sketches.

There’s a separate page for each city I visited.  Here are refections and images from what was for me a momentous journey.

14 thoughts on “Italian Journey

  1. We went to some of those places in Italy in 1999 & the following year went back and spent a week in Florence. It was glorious. May you be blessed and refreshed. Roger Perriss

  2. love the contrast between the solidity of the gates and their shadows; also the inviting glimpse of what lies beyond the gates, both hidden and revealed!

  3. Hello Chris – I’m totally hooked on your Italian Journey!
    I found the account of your visit to the Vatican City very moving.
    Great photos too. Hope the painting is going well. Enjoy!
    Safe travelling – Jane

  4. I just did not realise the Colosseum was so enormous! I like your picture of the Forum; it is an effective interpretation with the background being more vague than the architecture.

  5. I remember the peace & quiet of the cloisters at Santa Croce & the museum & then going into the rather ugly bussle of the church next door.

  6. Oh what memories this all awakens, thank you. I remember the awe inspiring forum and trying to get to grips with its history and time frame, the peace and beauty of so many places, removed yet inside hustle and bustle. I am reflecting on looking and seeing. Quite often I find I look through the camera lens but see in the picture especially on returning to it at leisure. I remember the grandeur of the Vatican and the coldness and pain of the Colosseum shouting out from every surface.

  7. What a spiritual experience to walk those cloisters meditating on the sights and thoughts of the day. Loved your visual response Chris.

  8. Hi Chris, thank you for sharing your journey, the emphasis on really ‘seeing’ is so helpful. The Elizabeth Barrett Browning quotation is exquisite. In a lesser way I have been ‘seeing’ the richness of the local canal, with changing seasons and nature. Earth really is crammed with heaven. Your art work is superb.

  9. Hi again, Chris, I have been down to Weston-super-Mare to see my parents so have had to wait until reunited with my laptop back in Nottingham before re-joining you on your fascinating journey. I love your picture of The Ponte Vecchio – disappointed not to be able to spot the single oarsman, though!

  10. Hi! What a nice surprise to have a personal reply from the artist! I meant that I couldn’t spot the oarsman in your painting rather than the photograph; I will have another look! Jx

  11. I remember that after we had gone round the Uffizi Gallery Liz told me how one painting brought tears to her eyes just to see the actual painting. I envy you being able to sit and listen to the organist playing in the church. There’s just nothing like toe sound of a large organ. I remember the organist giving me time to play the organ in Cemetary Rd Baptist, Sheffield. Lovely.

  12. On Sunday we sang BPW 103, “Open this book that we may see your word embodied in the drama of our earth”. It seemed to fit so perfectly with your travels.

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